San Diego Car Accident Lawyer Breakdown: Head-On Crashes

Head-on Crashes

Every car accident is extremely dangerous.  As such, it seems illogical to decipher which types of car accidents are more dangerous than others.  However, based on several different types of statistical measures, head-on crashes are perhaps the most dangerous types of collisions.  From a raw numbers perspective, head-on crashes are relatively rare.  Unfortunately, they tend to leave behind a scene of total destruction.  Every San Diego car accident attorney with any degree of experience has helped clients who have been harmed in one way or another by head-on crashes.  Below you’ll find an overview of this type of collision in hopes that the information presented will in some way help as many people as possible avoid ever being involved in one.  If you’ve already suffered through this experience, contact the San Diego car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible.

Head-On Crashes – National Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, the following statistics describe the number of head-on crashes in the United States during the calendar year of 2014:

  • Total number of head-on crashes:  141,000
  • Head-on crashes with property damage only:  76,000
  • Head-on crashes resulting in at least one injury:  62,000
  • Fatal head-on crashes:  2,866

When one considers that more than 4.2 million car accidents involving vehicles in transport occurred that year, it becomes clear that head-on collisions are not common.  When breaking down the percentage of head-on crashes that occurred relative to the total number of these types of collisions, it shows just how dangerous these types of accidents are:

  • Total accidents that were head-on crashes:  2.3 percent of the total number of collisions
  • Property damage only head-on crashes:  1.7 percent of total property damage accidents
  • Head-on crashes that resulted in at least one injury:  3.8 percent of total injury crashes
  • Fatal head-on crashes:  9.6 percent of total fatal accidents

Therefore, head-on crashes represent only 2.3 percent of the total number of car accidents involving moving vehicles, but nearly 10 percent of the total number of fatal collisions.

Head-On Crashes Statistics in San Diego County

A look at the head-on crashes statistics in San Diego County reveals a somewhat similar pattern.  According to data provided by UC-Berkeley, the following number of head-on crashes occurred in San Diego County during the calendar year of 2015:

  • Total number of head-on crashes: 804
  • Head-on crashes resulting in at least one injury:  775
  • Fatal head-on crashes:  29

As stated above, the number of head-on crashes that occur relative to the total number of San Diego car accidents that take place on a countywide basis is relatively small.  However, the percentage of fatal accidents that involve head-on collisions and those that result in at least one injury are each worth noting.  See below:

  • Total San Diego car accidents that were head-on crashes:  5.9 percent of the total
  • Head-on crashes that resulted in at least one injury:  5.9 percent of total injury crashes
  • Fatal head-on crashes:  12.5 percent of total fatal crashes

While the percentages are similar between total accidents and injury accidents, it’s clear that a much higher percentage of people are killed in head-on crashes relative to their percentage of the total number of collisions that occur in the county.  As such, San Diego head-on accidents are extremely dangerous and destructive.

Leading Causes of San Diego Head-on Crashes

When people think of head-on crashes, most think of one of the vehicles involved traveling down the wrong side of the road.  While that is one of the leading causes of San Diego head-on accidents, it is not the leading cause.  The leading causes of San Diego head-on collisions in 2015 were:

  1. Automobile right-of-way:  27.9 percent of head-on crashes
  2. Alcohol:  18.2 percent of head-on crashes
  3. Improper turning:  17.3 percent of head-on crashes
  4. Unsafe speed:  10.4 percent of head-on crashes
  5. Wrong side of road:  10.3 percent of head-on crashes

Based on these statistics, it’s clear that there are several different ways in which a head-on collision can occur.

Where San Diego Head-On Car Accidents Occurred

There is no location in San Diego County where head-on crashes are much more likely to occur than any other.  An analysis of the map shows the following to be the five places countywide where the highest number of head-on crashes occurred:

  1. Within the San Diego city limits
  2. Between Vista and Escondido
  3. The La Jolla area
  4. The South Bay area
  5. East of Escondido

The fact that the list above contains two relatively rural areas is hardly a surprise.  On a national level, fatal head-on crashes are nearly twice as likely to occur on rural roads as they are on those that exist in urban areas.

How a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

The statistics reveal that San Diego head-on car accidents can occur just about anywhere and that they are extremely dangerous.  When people are badly injured in head-on collisions, they are often unsure of how they should proceed.  This is even more of a pronounced problem for people who suddenly find themselves grieving the loss of a loved one.  The best initial step someone can take when injured or grieving the loss of a loved one because of a head-on collision is to seek legal advice so that a clear course of action can be defined.

If you find yourself in this difficult situation, you need to seek the help of a San Diego car accident lawyer who understands what it takes to stand up successfully for the rights of injured clients.  You need to work with a law firm that has earned a reputation as a team of strong litigators who will not hesitate to proceed to trial if that’s what is necessary to pursue a just result.  You need to contact Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.


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